IBC 2018 Reflections: WorldCast Connect’s Mathieu Yerle on the importance of transparency in monitoring broadcast networks
With broadcast infrastructure’s growing complexity, it’s increasingly important that more than just your top IT pro has not only complete transparency on your network but the ability to monitor and manage connected devices across it.
WorldCast Connect’s WorldCast Manager has been one of the industry’s go-to platforms for meeting such needs ever since its launch 2½ years ago. According to the company, it maximizes uptime and performance of IP-enabled equipment with its set of status alerts, operational tracking, visual reports, and workflow capabilities.
At this year’s IBC Show in Amsterdam, WorldCast Connect unveiled some critical additions to the platform. The feature most top-of-mind for Director of Sales & Product Strategy Mathieu Yerle was the integration of EdgeBot, an intelligent software agent that the company can deploy across the network to optimize the efficiency of monitoring.
This applies to sports broadcasters looking to control and monitor operations from a network operations center (NOC) while retaining the flexibility to deploy local intelligence onsite.
“All of these locations are packed with broadcast-quality equipment,” notes Yerle. “Traditionally, they have been monitored from far away at the NOC. With the EdgeBot, we are able to locally have the intelligence to communicate, optimize the bandwidth, transfer between the different sites, send alarms whenever something goes wrong, and also track what the operations teams are doing with these different advices.”
According to Yerle, as workflows grow more complex, clients demand more transparency when monitoring their technology, what is failing, and why. With that comes more and more data.
“A lot of emphasis is being put on monitoring sports-grade equipment at the top of the range,” he says. “These are great products that are usually very expensive, so customers cannot afford to lose their ingest set or replay system for even a few seconds. It’s absolutely critical for them to have a tool that ensures the consistency and to get optimum performances from these types of devices.”
Today, large U.S. broadcasters increasingly rely on partners to handle their maintenance work, but, with WorldCast Connect, there’s a level of visibility into what different partners are doing on their networks and infrastructure.
Yerle also acknowledges that the rapidly growing trend in at-home production models is having a huge impact on the types of solutions his company is developing.
“It’s a changing landscape of the business,” he says. “Broadcasters are relying more and more on large teams spread across multiple locations — some working from home, some working from different hubs. It’s critical to have the tools to allow such work flexibility. We are fully web-based so people can connect from anywhere. People appreciate that and find it in our product.”